Love and Olive Oil

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries

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Guess what? I have another something special for you. I’d like to welcome a very special guest, miss Maggie Battista of Eat Boutique. Yes, that Eat Boutique, the fabulous blog and purveyor of our favorite foodie gift boxes. Not only is she sharing a delicious summer dessert recipe, but don’t miss the end of the post. You just might win an EB Summer Gift Box (also, a hearty congrats to Molly and Nichole, the lucky winners of the Nudo chocolate giveaway!). Take it away, Maggie!

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries

This happens to be a short story of two yeses, two recipes and a giveaway.

Let’s start with the yeses. I’ve only known Lindsay since the start of this year, but I feel like she’s a sweet, forever friend. We’ve built up our friendship over the course of two giveaways (here and here). Lindsay’s a big supporter of my blog, Eat Boutique, where we share recipes and guides, spotlight food makers and sell homespun gift boxes. (Thanks, Lindsay!)

Preserved Whole Strawberries

When I told Lindsay about Eat Boutique’s summer gift box, a crafty box packed with food fit for a summer picnic, she said, “yes” to a summer box giveaway. (Don’t you just love a giveaway?) And when she asked me to write the blog post, I couldn’t help but get excited and say “yes” – though, of course, secretly stressing about what I might share with you all.

Preserved Whole Strawberries

While I’ve been a food blogger for four years, baking for this crowd is a bit scary; you’re all such great bakers! More so than baking, I love preserving. I’ve found my passion in homemade jams, vinegars, syrups and sweet cordials with whatever is in season. Our strawberry season is coming to a close in New England, but I managed to preserve several quarts, including this easy recipe for preserved whole strawberries.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries

Since we’re not preserving these strawberries to take us through to next year, the preparation is really easy. And let’s be realistic, local strawberries don’t last more than a few weeks in my house, whether freshly picked or preserved; they’re just too delicious.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries

Keep in mind: You could add spices, like an adobe chile during cooking, or even liquor, like a few splashes of Campari just after the cooking, to the strawberries for some added flavor. (My oh my, Campari-flavored preserved strawberries make for a great Americano cocktail!) But I kept it simple, as this strawberry buttermilk cake doesn’t need much to shine. Maybe just a touch of homemade whipped cream. And while the cake is perfect at room temperature, I actually loved the “ice box” nature of chilling it in the fridge for a bit before serving.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries


For cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 handful fresh strawberries
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon sugar (If you don’t have lemon sugar on hand, there’s a nice version in the Eat Boutique gift box, or just use plain sugar)

For preserved strawberries:
1 pound cleaned and hulled strawberries, but kept whole
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 a lemon, juiced


Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour an 8-inch spring form cake pan or a 9-inch regular metal cake pan. If using a spring form cake pan, cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place in the pan. (I got lazy and just placed a large sheet of parchment paper on the base and placed the spring form side right on top snugly.)

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla and zest. Add the egg and beat well.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan, smoothing out the top. Scatter strawberries evenly over top, loading in as many as you would like. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the lemon sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the spring form or invert from your pan, and cool. Some prefer to serve this cake warm with a bit of vanilla ice cream. I opted to put mine in the fridge and serve it with freshly made whipped cream and preserved strawberries.

To make the preserved strawberries, place the strawberries in a heavy, medium-size pot with the sugar and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat – as the fruit begins to juice, the sugar will melt. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, skimming off the foam, if you’d like. Stir it every 10 minutes or so – do so gently because you want the strawberries to stay intact. The strawberries are done when they’ve shrunken and the syrup has thickened a bit. Serve drizzled on top of the slices of the buttermilk cake and store any leftovers in the fridge for two to three weeks.

These recipes were adapted from Amanda Hesser’s Preserved Strawberries with Chiles on Food 52, and Melissa Robert’s Raspberry Buttermilk Cake featured in Gourmet in June 2009.

All images and text © Lindsay Landis /

Did you make this recipe?

Let us know what you think!
Leave a Comment below or share a photo and tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #loveandoliveoil.

Eat Boutique Summer Gift Box

Now let’s get to the good part. (Finally!) I am thrilled to be able to personally giveaway one of my Eat Boutique summer gift boxes. This summer box is filled with the following handmade food that I’ve personally sourced and tasted: lime & hibiscus syrup, s’mores marshmallows, a picnic set of preserved pickles, sweet beets and a sweet & spicy barbecue sauce, bacon fat roasted Old Bay peanuts, a trio of citrus sugars, and, perhaps, the best brownie I’ve ever tasted.

Just enter your comment below, per Lindsay’s directions, and one lucky winner will get this box shipped directly to them or, if they’d like, shipped to a friend (with a personal hand-written gift message). And because I am so in love with this site, all Love and Olive Oil readers will get free shipping on their summer gift box order by using the code “LAOO” at check out.  Happy summer!


To Enter:

Simply leave a comment on this post with the answer to this question:
What artisan treat from the summer Eat Boutique gift box would you most like to try?

Entries open through Tuesday, July 12 at 11:59 CST. Winner will be selected using a random number generator on the morning of Wednesday, July 13th. Prize will be shipped to the winner directly from Eat Boutique (to either you, or the recipient of your choice). Due to the perishable nature of this product this giveaway is open to residents of the continental United States ONLY.

Want Extra Entries?
Increase your odds of winning! In addition to the main entry comment, leave a separate comment for each bonus entry.
1. Follow @loveandoliveoil on twitter and tweet the following:
I just entered to win a gourmet gift box from @eatboutique and @loveandoliveoil! Enter here:
Leave a comment here with a link to the tweet and/or your twitter handle.
2. Like Love & Olive Oil on Facebook (or if you are already a fan just say so!). Leave a comment here with your first name and last initial so I can stalk verify you.

Be sure you enter a valid email address, because if your name is drawn and I can’t get a hold of you within 48 hours, I will choose an alternate winner. You may also want to add me to your address book (lindsay AT loveandoliveoil DOT com), as I’d hate for your congratulatory email to end up in the spam folder.

There may be affiliate links in this post. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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341 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Those smores marshmallows look yummy! I’d also love to try the pickles and beets I’m 7 months pregnant so u know they would satisfy a craving! :)

  2. Those bacon peanuts sound awesome!! How can you go wrong with bacon!?

  3. Lime and Hibiscus syrup would be my vote.

  4. left my tweet at @18milesnh

  5. Liked you on FB! Dana U :)

  6. The brownie looks delicious!

  7. Probably the trio of citrus sugars – those would be perfect sprinkled on top of some margarita sugar cookies! Yum!

  8. I’m a total sucker for anything s’mores — I’d love to try the s’mores marshmallows!

  9. woah! S’mores marshmallows…want!

  10. The brownie! The brownie! (I say this as I eat a cookie.)

  11. Lime & Hibiscus Syrup — on fluffy pancakes!!

  12. what a fun giveaway! i definitely want to try that s’more!!

  13. SWEET BEETS!!! (and pickles) :)

  14. I’m a fan on FB – Natalie W. :)

  15. I would love to try the S’mores marshmallows!!

  16. I am thoroughly intriqued by the pickles and beets!

  17. The lime & hibiscus syrup sounds divine!


  19. mmmmmm…and the s’mores marshmallows. I’m a fan on facebook (Anna M.)!

  20. Oh my! Everything sounds so good, but I’d surely go for the brownie first!

  21. The nuts, they sound delicious!

  22. I just tweeted you @rondamjones

  23.!/sarahhartshorne and I’m a fan on Facebook! I hope I win!

  24. Those Old Salties peanuts roasted in bacon fat are calling my name!

  25. oh…. i gotta vote for the pickles. everything sounds amazing though!

  26. The citrus sugar sounds so interesting and I do love all pickles. It all sounds very yummy.

  27. Absolutely the pickles. I think they’d be a versatile addition to summer entertaining or lazy suppers on the patio.



  28. The Lime & Hibiscus Syrup sounds delicious. I’d love to try some.

  29. My taste buds are calling out to the S’mores Marshmallows! Looks great!

    I liked your page on Facebook!

  30. Lovely! Both the cake and the box!

  31. Definitely the brownie-dessert first!

  32. Definitely lime and hibiscus syrup!

  33. And I already “like” L&OO on facebook.

  34. I’m sort of obsessed with Old Bay, so maybe the peanuts… but that lime and hibiscus syrup is so tempting! :)

  35. I’m also a fan on Facebook! (And have been for a while!) I’m Kristen D.

  36. Everything looks amazing…it’s a toss up between the brownie and the lime & hibiscus syrup. The strawberry cake looks amazing by the way!

  37. I follow L&O on Facebook

  38. I’d love to try the 240 Sweet S’more

  39. I would like to try the Lime & Hibiscus Syrup!

  40. I really want to try those smores marshmellows! yum!

  41. Oh my god I can’t decide between the lime hibiscus syrup, the s’mores marshmallows, the pickles or the peanuts. All of it. I want to try all of it!

  42. The bacon fat peanuts! Dang!

  43. The beets or the brownies, I can’t decide!

  44. the Lime & Hibiscus Syrup sounds divine!

  45. love love love eat boutique, and this recipe sounds just divine. everything in the box sounds delicious, but i’m not gonna lie – i’d probably break into the pickles first. i just love a good pickle.

    off to find you on twitter!

  46. Lime & Hibiscus Syrup!

  47. ooo… i’ll have to say the brownie. i really want to try EVERYTHING in there, but chocolate always win with me!

  48. It’s hard to pick just 1 I’d like to try the most. I’d have to say the smores. Love chocolate and marshmallow, enough said, right? =)

  49. Everything looks great, but the smores caught my eye immediately.

  50. The lime and hibiscus syrup looks incredible.

  51. I think I most want to try the Lime & Hibiscus Syrup!! I love the idea of flowers used in “food” ways. My mom has always (my entire like) made jam with rose petals… its a special pink rose, very fragrant.. and so yummy! Anyway, I can imagine this must be so good!

    And I totally like you on FB –> Ani G

    #WINNING!! :-)

  52. simply love your blog, I will be making the strawberry buttermilk cake tomorrow for brunch .. wish me luck ;)

  53. Coming from Maryland, I’ve got to pick the Old Bay Peauts! Yummmm

  54. I would love to try the lime and hibiscus syrup, hoping it would remind me of an amazing trip I took to Hawai’i. :)

  55. Um, bacon-fat roasted peanuts? YES PLEASE.

  56. The Smore’s marshmallows, yummm!

  57. The brownie! I am a brownie addict. Can’t get enough of em!

  58. Lime and hibiscus syrup sounds amazing!!

  59. Although the BBQ sauce is tempting I would have to say the Brownie has me.

  60. I would have to pick the sweet beats. I know it is the one thing in the basket no on else in my house but me would eat and they would be ALL MINE!!

  61. I’d never even thought of preserving strawberries whole! What a great idea. As far as the box goes…the citrus sugars intrigue me most of all.

  62. I follow you on Twitter (@orlndofoodie) and have tweeted here:!/orlndofoodie/status/90082264288993280

  63. Without a doubt, s’mores marshmallows. Can you imagine those babies with peanut butter? Oh my… that’s sinful.

  64. The marshmallows—no contest!

  65. Citrus sugar? Sign me up.

  66. I’m a facebook fan!

  67. I can’t wait to try the marshmallows! :)

  68. C’moooon baby! Momma needs a new jar of hibiscus syrup!

  69. I am a fan….
    Choosing is a toss up between the Old Salties and the Chocolate Brownies…. I can’t choose!!!

  70. How have you done the whipped cream on top of the cake? It looks like fluffy clouds! Lovely.

  71. I would love to try the citrus sugar trio, I want to use them to rim the glass of my fresh strawberry margarita as an alternative to salt. And I also want to try the pickles, simply because I love pickles :)

  72. I would love to try the citrus sugar trio, I want to use them to rim the glass of my fresh strawberry margarita as an alternative to salt. And I also want to try the pickles, simply because I love pickles!!!!

  73. I want the S’mores marhmallows. Hands down. Yummmm!

  74. I would love the citrus sugars! I can’t name the number of summer recipes they would complement.

  75. The Lime & Hibiscus Syrup sounds heavenly and also like something that I could re-create where I live. But I’d have to go with the lemon sugar since I’m obsessed with anything lemon!

  76. I like like like you on facebook!!!

  77. The honeyheat sauce sounds amazing.

  78. I like you on facebook!

  79. I think I’ll have to fight my husband for the bacon fat roasted Old Bay peanuts, they sound delicious!

    Also a Facebook follower.

  80. The bacon fat roasted peanuts, definitely! Bacon makes everything better

  81. Oh the citrus sugar sounds amazing!!!!

  82. You totally had me at bacon fat roasted old bay peanuts!! Sounds awesome.

  83. The cream on that cake just looks so sinful.

  84. would love to try the brownie! have not been craving any chocolate for months and i am beginning to think that i am abnormal. lol.

  85. I would love to try the S’mores Marshmellow… a s’more within a marshmellow?! It’s brilliant madness!

  86. I am following you on Twitter and tweeted here:!/frankly_n

    (I definitely don’t know how to link to a single tweet… sigh)

  87. I am also a fan on facebook!

  88. The Lime & Hibiscus Syrup would be devine. I would like to try it in summer cocktails or over ice and soda. Potentially on vanilla frozen yoghurt, or to add a kick to home brewed iced tea. I follow on twitter, but my account is protected, and I like you on facebook. :)

  89. bacon-fat roasted, Old-Bay peanuts and anything labeled smores sounds amazing!!

  90. just added you on facebook. my FB name is Shari Leigh

  91. I would LOVE to try those marshmallows!

  92. The brownie, definitely the brownie!

  93. I tweeted- my handle is @kinziesays

  94. I also liked the Facebook page– I’m Maya O!

  95. uh, bacon-fat Old Bay peanuts? i am in heaven!

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